Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Rugby: Bournemouth 31-15 Southend - National 2 South

BOURNEMOUTH Lions returned to winning ways with a 31-15 bonus point victory over Southend on Saturday. 

In a tense battle at Chapel Gate, David Dunn's side battled their way through during the second half, running in five tries overall. 

The match report from the Bournemouth Echo can be found here while post match reaction with Director of Rugby Dunn can be found here

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Report: Bromley 1-0 Worcester City - FA Cup 4th Qual Rd

CUP KING: Richard Pacquette
fires the winner for Bromley

IF anyone needed evidence that playing the beautiful game beautifully does not always win football matches, ten man Bromley’s FA Cup victory over Worcester City provided it.

Mark Goldberg’s team may not have passed the ball around with the finesse of their visitors, but essentially, there was purpose about their play in the final third. In the end, Bromley created much the better openings and deserved their place in the First Round for the fourth time in seven years.

Despite playing the last 15 minutes a man down following Moses Swaibu’s second yellow card, the hosts were still dangerous on the break and it came as no surprise when Richard Pacquette bundled home the last ditch winner.

Crestfallen Worcester players dropped to their knees as Bromley celebrated the winner. There was as much a sense of disbelief as gut wrenching disappointment.

But for all of the crisp passing and good possession, everything City did was in front of a stoic Bromley rearguard. Their performance lacked a dynamic edge where it mattered with key players Greg Mills and Danny Glover not involving themselves enough.

Worcester had more than enough about them to win this game, yet it had slipped from their grasp, and as frustrated City boss Carl Heeley booted a ball of the ground at full time it was clear he knew it.

It had started so well for the visitors with Tom Thorley going close with a free kick and Mills driving a fierce shot at home ‘keeper Joe Welch in the opening ten minutes.

Worcester were generally dominating, but Bromley soaked up the pressure and hit the channels early with the pace of Pierre Joseph-Dubios and Elliott Buchanan complimenting Pacquette’s physical presence up front.

Mike Jones’ jinking run set Pacquette away to drill a shot at Glyn Thompson’s legs before Buchanan missed the chance of the first half, scuffing well wide on the half volley from Sanchez Ming’s low centre.

Ming time and again exploited a weakness in City’s system, finding space down the right as Mills switched flanks leaving left back Ellis Deeney hopelessly exposed.

At the start of the second half, captain Ali Fuseini drove narrowly over from 25 yards after good work down the right by Buchanan, who headed Ming’s cross wide when well placed two minutes later.

Bromley’s pressure was relentless until the hour mark with a sitter falling to Danny Waldren but he sidefooted wide from Ming’s centre from ten yards with the goal at his mercy.  

The match calmed down as the visitors gained control, but there were no real openings for the visitors, even after Swaibu’s second yellow card ended up stretching the game.

The former Lincoln City defender mistimed a tackle from behind on substitute Danny Edwards leaving referee Craig Hicks little option, even if his first booking had been harsh.

Ming, however, was still providing an outball for the hosts while Jeromme Sobers, who came on to fill Swaibu’s void at centre half, coped manfully with City’s pressure.  

And Bromley saved the best for last with Ming’s 90th minute cross half cleared as far as Fuseini who drilled the ball back across goal for Pacquette to slide in and grab the winner, sending the home crowd into raptures.

The hosts may be especially grateful to they scored when they did, as the goal finally jolted City’s misfiring attack into life with Glover seeing a shot deflected wide by Waldren before spurning their best chance with the last kick of the game.

A crescendo of whistles rang around Hayes Lane as Thompson punted a long kick forward onto Glover’s head. His flick on fell kindly for City substitute Michael Taylor who stole a march down the left side of the penalty area, but his shot rolled agonisingly wide of the far post with Welch beaten and the whistle that mattered was blown, along with Worcester’s FA Cup dreams.

The better side may not have won this game, but no one can argue that Bromley do not deserve their trip to League Two Fleetwood. Fifteen battled hardened minutes with ten men has earned Bromley another fifteen minutes of fame.

*Post match reaction with Worcester City boss Carl Heeley can be found here and here.

BROMLEY: Welch, Ming, Patterson, Fuseini, Swaibu, Harwood, Waldren, Jones (Malcolm 58), Joseph-Dubois (Sobers 77), Pacquette, Buchanan (Finn 66).

Unused subs: Howard, Rhule, Boateng, Daly.

Goal: Pacquette 90.

WORCESTER CITY: Thompson, Weir, Deeney, Thorley, Whitehead, Rowe, Breeze, Elvins, Symons (Edwards 74), Glover, Mills (Taylor 88).

Unused subs: Birley, Ayres, Polan, Khan, Sargeant (g/k).

STAR MAN: Ali Fuseini (Bromley)

Had his shaky moments, but his constant voice and presence in midfield guided his team through the tough parts of this clash. Gave Bromley the platform to get forward when they did get the ball, pinged good passes into key areas and got forward at the right times, setting up the winner late on when other central midfielders would have sat back with ten men. A massive influence on the result. 

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Report: Bashley 0-1 Newport IOW - Hampshire Snr Cup R2

FRANK TALK: Gray wants more
from his Bashley players.

FRANK Gray called on Bashley’s players to fight for their futures after crashing out of the Hampshire Senior Cup following a 1-0 home defeat to Wessex League club Newport Isle of Wight.

A match of few chances at Bashley Road was settled in Port’s favour thanks to Tom McInnes’ strike nine minutes from time. Ross Gregory’s crossfield pass was collected by Kyle Lever for McInnes to plunder the only goal of the game with a downward header from close range.

Newport had the better of the opening half an hour but Bash battled back and established a foothold in the game.

James Stokoe’s diving header drew a full stretch save from Gary Streeter before the break while the hosts were hesitant in attacking areas after the interval with Tom Hill, Josh Casey and Matt Finlay guilty of dallying and wasting openings.

The visitors weathered the storm and rallied with Mark Augustos forcing Stewart Kearn into a low save before substitute John McKee dragged a shot wide with the goal gaping.

The goal eventually came, though, with McInnes’ strike quickly followed by McKee pelting the post as Newport grabbed the victory their slightly more incisive play deserved.

It left Bash out of three cup competitions and without a goal on home soil in 449 minutes of action, prompting Gray to look for more squad reinforcements.

The Bash boss said: “We have to look at things and change it round a bit. We had a few players out but the side should still have been strong enough to win the match.

“We need a little more strength in the middle of the park as we haven’t dominated through the middle as much as we would like to. Maybe we have to sacrifice playing some football to get more strength into the side.

“The only way you get through a run like this is by working hard, there is no magic solution. The lads who we don’t feel are working as hard as they can are the ones that will have to move on.

“It is very difficult to put fight, heart and spirit into a player. Some players are more motivated than others and you have to get the lads with the right attitude. First and foremost at this level you look for a bit of desire and the football almost becomes secondary.”

BASHLEY: Kearn, Strickland, Oliver, Vokes, Middleton, Richardson, Casey, Hill, Stokoe, Gradwell (Gamble 74), Finlay (Foster 74).

Unused subs: Gazzard, Cooper.

NEWPORT IOW: Streeter, Gregory, Oatley, Butt (McKee 63), Ovnik, Fleming, Powell, J Rayner, McInnes, Lever, Augustos.

Unused subs: McDonaghy, D Rayner, Simpkins.

Goal: McInnes 81.

STAR MAN: John McKee (Newport IOW)

Newport were a solid and workmanlike side, but this was a poor match with little quality until an inspired substitution did enough to gradually prize Bashley’s defence open. McKee offered pace in wide areas which proved decisive. The winger may have shown better quality on the ball at times but his impact was enough to make the difference. 

Monday, 15 October 2012

Report: Bashley 0-2 Leamington - Southern Premier

MATT FINISH: Dodd celebrates
his opener for Leamington
HALF a season unbeaten, not a bad response to an eleven match winless run for Leamington who ground out their latest success at Bashley.

Since losing this fixture last season the Brakes have gone 21 matches without defeat. Nine draws in that time along with some disappointing cup defeats suggests they haven’t been wiping the floor with everyone, but the knack of getting points from games without playing that well is starting to make the rest of the division take note.

And so they should. Paul Holleran’s side were never in danger of wreaking the kind of havoc that Barwell did at Bashley Road, but equally the destiny of the points never looked in doubt.

Leamington’s assured control of this match always inspired confidence among the vocal away following as Bash, for all their endeavour, rarely looked threatening. Despite improving on recent home performances, they never had the quality to match their high flying visitors.

Bashley were at arm’s length for the first 20 minutes but went closest to opening the scoring in that time, Charlie Knight’s swirling effort just clearing the crossbar, but that only jolted the Brakes into gear as Matt Dodd stung Stuart Moore’s palms with a fierce drive at the other end.

It proved to be a prelude to the opener, though, as the former Sutton Coldfield Town winger eased the ball home at the far post from Tom Berwick’s low centre after Stephan Morley had played the front man down the left.

Leamington were almost caught cold as Brad Strickland fired across goal but the former AFC Bournemouth youngster, playing in a more advanced midfield role, got caught in two minds as his low effort evaded Tom Hill and crept wide of the far post.

On the rare occasion that debutant ‘keeper Niall Cooper failed to get distance on a punched clearance, he did well to recover and charge down another Hill effort, preventing Bashley from levelling before half time.

As the match approached the hour mark, Strickland wasted the chance of the day, skewing horribly wide from ten yards before Andrew Jenkinson saw his shot bravely blocked by James Mace.

That was as good as it got for Bashley who kept plugging away but couldn’t find the zest or energy to force their way through a composed Leamington defence, marshalled superbly by Liam Daly who won everything in his own penalty area before nearly doubling the lead at the other end.

With less than 20 minutes to play, the former Redditch United and Solihull Moors defender saw his downward header from Sam Adkins’ inswinging free kick hacked off the line by Ian Richardson before Ian Oliver cleared Bashley’s lines.

Morley crossed for substitute Lee Moore to head over the bar late on, but a deserved second duly arrived as Dodd slipped the ball to another substitute, Alex Taylor, to stride inside and beat Stuart Moore at his near post.

Leamington will feel they can play better while Bash will take the positives from a much improved display, but the team that was not at its best won 2-0. The league table does not lie.

*Bashley boss Frank Gray’s post match reaction along with the match report from the Bournemouth Echo can be found here.


BASHLEY: S Moore, Bell, Oliver, Strickland, Middleton, Richardson, Casey (Gradwell 63), Hill, Stokoe (Foster 80), Jenkinson, Knight.

Unused subs: Vokes, Finlay, Kearn (g/k).

LEAMINGTON: Cooper, Mace, Morley, Magunda, Hood, Daly, Dodd, Chilton (Husband 73), Berwick (L Moore 66), Johnson (Taylor 83), Adkins.

Unused subs: Naylor, Tiff.

Goals: Dodd 27, Taylor 87.

STAR MAN: Liam Daly (Leamington)

There were many strong performances from the visitors with young goalkeeper Niall Cooper proving his worth and Tom Berwick working hard up front. Matt Dodd was a constant thorn in Bashley’s side, but Daly edges it for winning everything he had to and then some. When Bash did manage to stretch the Brakes, Daly slotted into position to cover, charging down shots and heading balls away to calm everything down. His presence was felt at both ends of the field. A mature display from a player who seems to finally have settled at the New Windmill. 

Monday, 8 October 2012

Report: Wimborne Tn 2-2 Cirencester Tn - Southern S&W

Magpies boss
Steve Cuss
THE disappointment of not taking three points from this clash is a marker for how far Wimborne Town have come.

The Magpies dropped two points with a minute to play as Cirencester Town grabbed a richly deserved draw that stole second place for the Centurions at the expense of the hosts. 

And while boss Steve Cuss may look at how close his charges were to victory, the fact that they competed with one of the division’s early pace setters without being at their best is proof that standards are much higher at Cuthbury this season.

The new found resistance that eluded Wimborne for so long during the last campaign was typified by one player who was not expected to feature until less than an hour before kick off.

Goalkeeper Dan Ackerman stood in for Jason Harvell as the injury that saw Wimborne’s number one withdraw from Tuesday’s FA Trophy replay with Banbury resurfaced during the warm up.

Ackerman has been used to playing with Harvell in and out since the summer, but with the usual custodian not even fit enough for a place on the bench, his understudy had to play through the pain barrier himself after an awkward landing at the end of the first half.

Even kicking was clearly painful for Ackerman after the break, but under a barrage of Ciren pressure he stood his ground and pulled off two quality saves that almost won the game for the Magpies.

The Centurions began well against their disjointed hosts as Chris Taylor set the tempo and stung Ackerman’s palms early on before fluffing a cross that should have set up Sam Collier for the opener.

The visitor’s lack of potency around the box was punished as Wimborne scored from their first meaningful attack of the game – Mickey Hubbard’s inswinging free kick finding Tom Jeffes to nod home at the far post.

Cirencester continued to probe at the other end, but their start was typified by Joe Shephard’s tenacious work down the right ending with a poor pull back coming to nothing.

However, with the Magpies trying to the play the ball out of their defensive third instead of clearing from dangerous areas, the match was soon levelled as Kevin Gill, not for the first time, was caught in possession allowing Ellis Dunton to cross for Shephard to ease the ball home.

Ciren were soon on the front foot again after the restart but Collier saw a deflected effort loop over the crossbar before his shot from an acute angle squirmed harmlessly wide. Jamie Reid also drew a smart stop for Ackerman before Wimborne eventually rallied, looking after the ball with more authority after the hour mark.

The difference between the two sides' finishing quickly became apparent as the hosts took full advantage with 20 minutes to go, Jeffes flicking on for Jamie Davidson to round Matt Bath and coolly slot home.

Another smart move between Jeffes, Jon Blake and Davdison saw George Webb’s effort blocked by Alex Allard as the Magpies turned the screw, but Ackerman had to be alert to tip Matt Sysum’s spectacular volley over the crossbar at the other end.

Substitutes Matt Kemble and Steve Smith both spurned presentable openings to win the match, but Wimborne could have few complaints as Collier levelled from the penalty spot with a minute to go.

The Ciren striker calmly tucked away his late spot kick after Ben Wells’ throughball was handled by Nathan Peprah-Annan in the area, sealing a useful point for the visitors.

There will always be a feeling of ‘what if’ when the home side lead so late in the game, but both sides were good value for a share of the spoils in a match that Wimborne would have probably gone on to lose a year ago.

The likes of Shaun Brian and Jon Blake have made Cuthbury a tougher place to go and decent teams like Cirencester have to earn what they get these days – it would seem that both clubs will enjoy a solid campaign this time, at least.

Post match reaction

*Steve Cuss' reaction to Wimborne's start to the season with the Bournemouth Echo can be found here

On the match, Cuss added: “We have mixed emotions after taking a 2-1 lead into the final moments of the game, but on reflection, Dan (Ackerman) made a few good saves and the draw might have been a fair result.

“I wouldn’t like to make any excuses but I did think we looked a bit leggy in the first half after Tuesday’s game went to extra time and penalties.

“We were probably just off the pace a little bit and allowed them to play. At half time we said we had to muster the effort to get tight to them and stop them playing and we did that.

“I’ve been delighted with the players all season and it has been a tough week for us – we had to dig deep at times because Cirencester are one the better sides we have played so far.”

"We’re just enjoying it at the moment which we tell the players to do – we give them the freedom to go out and play and the results have come from that so we’ll just keep picking up points and see where it takes us.

"We all want to kick on – Wimborne have been in this league for three seasons now and it is my second season so we want to get higher up the league when we can but we don’t set ourselves any targets other than trying to win the next game."


*A selection of matchday photos can be found in the slideshow below. Originals can be requested by contacting theonionsack.

WIMBORNE TOWN: Ackerman, Arnold, Cole, Peprah-Annan, Brian, Blake, Gill (Sainsbury 69), Hubbard, Jeffes (Smith 79), Davidson (Kemble 79), Webb.

Unused sub: Costello.

Goals: Jeffes 19, Davidson 70.

CIRENCESTER TOWN: Bath, Allard, Dunton, Sysum, Taylor, Thompson, Reid (Packer 83), Mortimer-Jones, Collier, Shephard, Bennett (Wells 71).

Unused subs: Bailey, Hawkins.

Goals: Shephard 35, Collier 89(p).

STAR MAN: Dan Ackerman (Wimborne Town)

There were several candidates with Jon Blake and Mickey Hubbard influential for Wimborne and Matt Sysum and Chris Taylor driving Cirencester forward, but the accolade must go to Ackerman who belied his injury woes to play a major part in the final result. After a string of impressive displays this season, he may start to wonder whether he should be second choice at Cuthbury.

Saturday, 6 October 2012

Report: Bashley 0-4 Poole Town - FA Trophy 1st Qual Rd replay

Carl Preston
ANOTHER heavy Bashley defeat may have followed the loss of the opening goal, but this time it was as much about Carl Preston’s virtuoso performance for Poole Town as it was the host’s capitulation.

But that and the fact the losing margins are getting smaller will be scant consolation for the Bash faithful.

Shipping six against Hemel and five against Barwell was bad enough, but to lose so comprehensively to lower league opposition and local rivals will really stick in the throat for the New Forset outfit.

Again, this was a solid enough performance from Bash until they conceded, but once the Dolphins had their opener the host’s resistance quickly disintegrated.

That said there was plenty of force behind the gust that blew the house down as Preston’s hat-trick marked a fearsome return to form for the former AFC Bournemouth youngster.

A scrappy opening half an hour had little tempo with Bashley creating two half chances, Matt Finlay’s stretch was not enough to connect with a loose ball at the far post before James Stokoe’s cool control and smart turn was wasted with a tame finish.

In truth, though, Poole’s game plan worked effectively as they controlled the game with a quiet authority before a moment of magic ultimately decided the destiny of this tie.

Preston was alive to nip in behind Josh Casey and get to the byline in the 32nd minute, working the perfect amount of space to curl the ball across Stuart Moore and find the bottom far corner.

Four minutes later, Preston almost added a second that would have rivalled Gareth Bale’s solo effort for Spurs in Milan two years ago – a mazy run from the half way line left Brad Strickland and Ian Richardson for dead but Moore raced off his line to smother the low effort.

Ragged Bashley soon conceded a second though with pacy Preston at the hub of the home side’s panic, darting down the left and crossing for Gary Middleton to scuff into his own net from the uncomfortable position of facing his own goal.

A slick move just after the hour provided the third with Adam Kelly and Karim Benssaouda zipping the ball around statues with Preston rounding Moore to coolly slot home.

Poole’s persistent predator earned a shot at his hat-trick nine minutes from time by further terrorising Richardson, drawing a handball from the former Totton stopper as he tried in vain to stop a cross from the left – Preston despatched the spot kick to Moore’s left with aplomb.

Ian Oliver and Pearce Farren entered the fray for Bashley and added some endeavour – the two substitutes combined for Farren to clip the frame of the goal late on, but that didn’t mask the problems facing Frank Gray at the moment.

He needs to pick his players up and fast – the goals are flying in at an alarming rate as soon as Bash concede. Poole, however, will be pleased to get through a tie they were so close to losing first time around – this was the type of form everyone expects from Tom Killick’s men and there would have been many Premier Division teams struggling to contain them on this kind of form.

BASHLEY: Moore, Smith, Casey, Strickland, Middleton (Oliver 70), I Richardson, Finlay, Hill, Stokoe (Farren 77), Jenkinson, Knight.

Unused subs: Gazzard, Vokes, Kearn (g/k).

POOLE TOWN: Hutchings, Baines, Spetch, Emmerson, Walker, Dibba (S Richardson 66), Burbidge, Devlin, S Brown (Benssaouda 50), Preston, Kelly (Wilson 79).

Unused subs: O’Donnell, T Brown (g/k). 

Goals: Preston 32, 61, 81(p), Middleton 42(og).

STAR MAN: Carl Preston (Poole Town)

It was always a matter of when rather than if Preston would find his form again as both Poole and their talented wideman have yet to hit top gear this season – until now. It is no coincidence that one of the Dolphins’ best displays this season came on a night when everything went right for their key man. Poole were imperious and unstoppable with one man taking them from stoic to sensational – Carl Preston.


Wednesday, 3 October 2012

News: Exclusive - Leamington sign goalkeeper Niall Cooper from Redditch United

Niall Cooper

LEAMINGTON have finally secured the signature of goalkeeper Niall Cooper from Redditch United, theonionsack can exclusively reveal tonight.

The will-he-won’t-he debate ended with the former Kettering Town, Romulus and Sutton Coldfield Town stopper, 21, switching to the Southern Premier leaders from their struggling local rivals after watching Tuesday’s FA Trophy replay with Belper Town.

Last week’s speculation was fuelled further when Cooper did not feature for the Reds in Saturday’s 2-1 defeat at Nantwich Town and he revealed today that United boss Simon Redhead had decided against playing him in their Trophy clash.

Cooper told theonionsack: “I spoke to the gaffer and the chairman at Redditch and it is understandable. The manager asked if my head was on it and I said ‘Yes, of course’.

“Leamington wanted to push things forward but the move wasn’t going to go through until Tuesday and the gaffer felt it wasn’t the right thing to do (to play Cooper).

“Simon wanted me to stay and there was nothing pushing me away from Redditch, it was just a good offer from Leamington.”

Cooper admits that he suffered a poor start to pre-season after stepping up from Sutton, but his fine form since then has convinced the Brakes to move for the Northamptonshire based player.

“There were no personal reasons, it’s just Leamington is a lot closer to home for training with my work commitments. As a club, with the position they are in, it is a lot more attractive too.

“I told Simon Redhead during pre-season that if I had the opportunity to step forward then I would and I have done. I would like to thank Redditch for taking the chance on me and sticking by me after a bad pre-season.

“But I see this as a step forward in my career, as Redditch was in the summer, now I am starting to find my feet at this level.”

The move throws into doubt the future of current Brakes custodian Kevin Sawyer, who himself only joined the New Windmill club in the summer, as Cooper explained he expects to feature regularly.

“When I started talking to Paul Holleran I put the question across and said straight away that if I was going to move then I wanted to be playing games rather than watching from the bench.

“It is not down to me and I’m not here just to walk into the side, but my overall aim is to play regularly, get spotted and go higher.

“I wouldn’t move if I did not believe I was going to be first choice and I have signed on the understanding that I would be playing games – whether that is straight away or over the next couple of weeks, we will see.”

Meanwhile, Redditch have replaced Cooper with Tamworth loanee James Wren, 20. 

Monday, 1 October 2012

Report: Poole Town 1-1 Bashley - FA Trophy 1st Qual Rd

LATE GOAL: Benssaouda
KARIM Benssaouda’s last ditch equaliser gave this FA Trophy tie an all too familiar finish as Poole Town rescued a replay with local rivals Bashley.

Bash suffered late heartache in the FA Cup, losing a 90th minute goal to draw 1-1 with Gosport Borough three weeks ago before controversially losing the replay in the now famous ‘phantom goal’ incident.

And with Poole, who went into the game boasting a 100% home record, trailing their Southern Premier visitors by a single goal, there was an air of inevitability about the Dolphins’ leveller at the death.

Tatnam boss Tom Killick has readily admitted that his side have yet to sparkle this season, but have still ground out the necessary results, especially on home soil.

So despite their average-at-best showing in what was anything but a ding-dong derby, the draw was not surprising or undeserved.

The lower league hosts went into the clash as favourites with a three point lead at the top of the Southern South & West while Bashley sit second from bottom in the Premier Division, higher league status that just eluded Poole in the play-offs at the end of last season.

The Dolphins played with confidence and made the early running, but it was Bash who created the most presentable openings in a goalless first half.

The visitors felt they should have had a penalty on 16 minutes when debutant Andrew Jenkinson’s throughball was handled by Will Spetch, but referee Mark Lawrence infuriated Bash boss Frank Gray by awarding a free kick on the edge of the penalty area for an offence that both sides acknowledged was inside the box.

Charlie Knight was at the hub of Bashley’s attacks, providing the ammunition for James Stokoe to miss a sitter from five yards midway through the first half.

However, Bash were forced to defend in numbers and were often indebted to another new face, goalkeeper Stuart Moore, who caught several testing crosses under severe pressure from the host’s attack.

Benssaouda dispossessed Brad Strickland but shot across the face of goal before Carl Preston hit the post as Poole finish the first 45 with a flourish.

The interval, however, came at the wrong time for the Dolphins who failed to settle at all in the second half and Bashley took full advantage four minutes after the restart.

Giant defender Ian Richardson pressured Marvin Brooks into flicking a header towards his own goal from Josh Casey’s free kick and left ‘keeper Nick Hutchings stranded as the ball looped into the net.

Poole had their own penalty appeal waved away moments later when Gary Middleton appeared to wrestle Michael Walker to the ground, but Bash were in the ascendency and could have wrapped the tie up in the final fifteen minutes.

Firstly, an unmarked Knight headed Tom Hill’s cross over at the far post before Stokoe shot tamely into Hutchings’ arms when one-on-one with four minutes to go.

Those misses set up a grandstand finish with two efforts scrambled off the Bashley line in a goal mouth melee.

But the hosts were not to be denied as marauding full back Keith Emmerson burst from his own half to the edge of the penalty area, seeing his low shot well parried by the unfortunate Moore who could do nothing to stop Benssaouda’s rebound.

Both bosses had differing views on the performance levels at full time, which is unsurprising on current form. 

The draw was a fair result though, and it is back to Bashley Road on Tuesday night with the incentive of a winnable tie at home to Didcot Town for the victors.  

POOLE TOWN: Hutchings, Baines (S Brown 69), Spetch, Emmerson, Walker, S Richardson (Wilson 58), Kelly (Burbidge 77), Devlin, Benssaouda, Preston, Brooks. 

Unused subs: O’Donnell, T Brown (g/k).

Goal: Benssaouda 90. 

BASHLEY: Moore, Smith, Casey, Strickland, Middleton, I Richardson, Finlay (Oliver 80), Hill, Stokoe, Jenkinson, Knight. 

Unused subs: Gazzard, Farren, Vokes, Kearn (g/k).

Goal: Brooks(og) 49.

STAR MAN: Stuart Moore (Bashley)

In what was not the most inspiring of football matches, Moore withstood the pressure piled on by Poole's big hitters on an important afternoon between the sticks for the Reading youngster. Making his debut in the heat of a local derby, in an FA competition, is not easy for a young goalkeeper, but his bravery from the outset saw him command his area well. Despite Benssaouda taking the plaudits late on, Moore's impressive contribution should not be overlooked.